Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Song of the Morning: The Death of Ase

When I was a boy of about 8 or 10, I used to listen to a lot of classical music. I have very few memories from those times, but I do remember a sense of wonder and enjoyment from listening to those records. Yes, actual records.

My favorite was Grieg's "Peer Gynt". By "In the Hall of the Mountain King" I would close my eyes and see the whirling crescendo of the trolls and Peer Gynt in some mysterious dark cavern. I didn't know what those trolls were at the time, although the record did have a picture of a strange creature on its cover. It was only a couple of years later when I first read "The Hobbit" that I've made the connection. A more recent favorite piece was the fjords and green inspired and inspiring opening "Morning Mood" (Youtube link).

This morning I woke up with "The Death of Ase" playing in my head. It deals, as the title suggests, with the death of Ase, Peer Gynt's mother (plot). As with other so-called 'song of the morning', I have no explanation as to why this sad and sweeping piece decided to be my soundtrack for the early waking moments. If I was superstitious, I might have suspect an omen (joined with a large black crow perched on the window). But the only birds I saw on my way to the laundromat were the usual rat-like pigeons. And that old and friendly mostly-black raven that follows me around...

Happy New Year!

Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No 1 for orchestra, Op 46- No. 2, The Death of Ase {MP3} (from Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 & 2; Lyric Pieces; Sigurd Jorsalfar; Wedding Day at Troldhaugen) The file will be hosted for a limited time only.

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